Frequently asked questions about Oxfam America.
- Donations and fund-raising
- How is Oxfam America funded?
- Can I get a copy of your annual report?
- How is my donation spent?
- What is Oxfam America's Employer Identification Number (EIN)/tax ID?
- What are Oxfam's principles on accepting donations?
- How does Oxfam America measure up to other charities?
- How can I give on a monthly basis?
- Do you offer a gift planning program?
- How do I apply for a job with Oxfam?
- How do I intern or volunteer with Oxfam?
- Does Oxfam America offer volunteer opportunities abroad?
- Grants/funding requests
- How can our organization apply for a grant?
- Does Oxfam America provide financial aid for students?
- What if I'm not from the US. Can I still join?
- How do I remove my name from the mailing list or update my address/bio information?
- What if I forgot/don't know my password?
- How can I help?
- Can you keep me up to date on the progress of Oxfam America's campaigns?
- How do I get to your offices?
- I still have a question! Who can I contact?
What is the history of Oxfam?
In 1942, a group of Quaker intellectuals, social activists, and Oxford academics formed the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief in response to the plight of refugees in Greece. After the war, Oxfam (a name derived from its postal code abbreviation) continued its work, sending materials and financial aid to groups aiding poor people throughout Europe. As the situation in Europe improved, Oxfam's attention shifted to the needs of people in developing countries.
Twenty-eight years later, a group of volunteers founded Oxfam America in 1970 in response to the humanitarian crisis created by the fight for independence in Bangladesh. Oxfam Great Britain provided a loan for the group and at first Oxfam America funneled funds exclusively through Oxfam Great Britain. Originally located in Washington, DC, Oxfam America relocated to Boston in 1973.
A more detailed history of Oxfam also can be found on Oxfam Great Britain’s Web site.
What is the history of the name "Oxfam"?
"Oxfam" was the original postal abbreviation for the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, which was started in England during World War II to provide relief to war victims in Europe. Since then, Oxfam affiliates have been established in 17 countries.
Donations and fund-raising
How is Oxfam America funded?
Oxfam America relies almost entirely on funding from individual donors, foundations, and corporations. We are fortunate to have hundreds of thousands of supporters, many of whom give every month or year. Among leading humanitarian organizations, we are one of the few that do not accept US government funds; this allows us to maintain our independence. Oxfam America operates efficiently and always aims to minimize administrative costs. In 2011, 79 percent of our expenditures went directly to program support—well above the standard recommended by the AIP (American Institute of Philanthropy), one of the leading charity rating organizations in the US. At least 90 percent of funds designated by individual donors for humanitarian emergencies directly support our responses for those emergencies. We strive to exceed or maintain these standards each year.
Can I get a copy of your annual report?
Annual reports from 2004to 2010, as well as additional financial information, are available in the Financial Information section of our Web site.
How is my donation spent?
Oxfam America seeks to operate efficiently and to minimize fund-raising and administrative costs. In 2011, we allocated 79 percent of our expenditures for development programs and emergency relief—a number that is well above the standard recommended by the American Institute of Philanthropy, one of the leading charity rating organizations in the US. During this same period, at least 90 percent of funds designated by individual donors for humanitarian emergencies directly supported our relief efforts for those emergencies. We strive to exceed or maintain these standards each year.
What is Oxfam America's Employer Identification Number (EIN)/tax ID?
Our EIN/tax ID number is 23-706-9110.
What are Oxfam's principles on accepting donations?
Oxfam America creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and social injustice. Because we are not tied to any specific political, economic, or religious interests, we are able to independently develop, fund, and support effective programs that help people overcome poverty and secure their rights. To protect our ability to speak out on behalf of those who most need it and to preserve our independence, Oxfam America does not accept funds from organizations involved in industries in which we are campaigning or from the US government. Additionally, we do not accept some product donations because they could compromise the effectiveness of our programs.
How does Oxfam America measure up to other charities?
Oxfam America is rated highly by a number of leading independent charity evaluators, including the American Institute of Philanthropy. In 2011, Oxfam America again received the Better Business Bureau's highest rating for charitable organizations (for the sixth year in a row) by meeting all 20 of its "Standards for Charity Accountability."
How can I give on a monthly basis?
By signing up to be a Pledge Partner, you can give on a monthly basis. In fact, setting up regular payments directly helps us reduce administrative costs. Most supporters arrange for a monthly charge to their credit card, which helps us to be more efficient and avoid mailing out reminders.
Using this method of giving means more of your donation goes to fighting poverty, and it saves you from writing a monthly check. In addition, members of the Pledge Partner Program receive quarterly updates on our work and our OXFAMExchange magazine. You can sign up online or see our Pledge Partner FAQs if you have additional questions.
Do you offer a gift planning program?
Oxfam America has an extensive gift planning program. You can learn more in our Create a Legacy section.
How do I apply for a job with Oxfam?
Find an open position that matches your skills, experience, and interests and apply online today. Click the Apply button at the bottom of any position description page.
You will receive an email confirming receipt of your résumé/CV. If we feel there is a good match between your background, experience and education and the position requirements, we will contact you for a telephone interview for initial screening. If you are selected for further consideration, you will be contacted to schedule an additional interview with a hiring committee, either in person or via telephone.
If there are no open positions that match your interests, you can still add your information to our database, so that we can send you notifications of new jobs based on your interests.
Thank you for your interest in joining Oxfam America in our fight against poverty and social injustice.
Oxfam America is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
How do I intern or volunteer with Oxfam?
Interested in being a volunteer or intern at Oxfam? We're looking for highly motivated people to support our mission and bring excellent interpersonal and communication skills to the task. Internships and volunteer positions provide a substantive, challenging work experience and will expand your understanding of Oxfam's work.
You will receive a confirmation email and will be contacted if you are selected as a candidate. If there are no open positions that match your interests, you can still add your information to our database, so that we can send you notifications of new jobs based on your interests.
Interns and volunteers perform many of the same tasks and frequently work together on projects, but there are some key differences between internships and volunteer positions at Oxfam.
- Are students in an accredited educational program, or have visas for their year of training after graduation.
- Work for a fixed period with a set number of hours per week. Eight hours is the minimum per week, and a total of 80 hours is an acceptable minimum commitment.
- May work for credit or a college-provided stipend, but are generally not paid by Oxfam America.
- Must have US work papers.
- May be in an accredited educational program, but may not want to be interns.
- May be at Oxfam America for short-term projects, for special events, for occasional work, or for a number of years.
Unless otherwise noted, any qualified individual can apply. All applicants must have valid visas or work papers that allow them to legally work in the US. Oxfam America does not provide visas for interns or volunteers.
Oxfam America is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Does Oxfam America offer volunteer opportunities abroad?
We are unable to offer internships or volunteer opportunities abroad. The nature of our work often requires very specific knowledge and skills, and it can sometimes be dangerous. As a result, all of our internships and volunteer opportunities are based in the US located in: Boston, MA; Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; or Minneapolis, MN.
How can our organization apply for a grant?
Oxfam partners with local communities to address their needs directly and to create solutions that will be sustainable over time. Because of our limited funds, we can only support organizations that are working in the approximately 30 countries in which we have programs. As much as we would like to fund more projects, we must adhere to our strategic focus.
Here are some additional details on how Oxfam America allocates funds:
- The majority of grants are for one year.
- In 2004, we funded over 244 partner organizations.
- Grants usually range from $10,000 to $40,000, and in a few cases up to $60,000.
- In general, grant proposals are developed in cooperation between our regional staff and potential partner organizations. While we usually refer unsolicited requests to our regional staff (if the proposal is in line with the regional strategy), such proposals are rarely funded.
- We do not fund individuals (education, health, livelihoods etc.).
- We do not fund government projects, churches, clinics/health centers, schools, and government bodies.
Please see the What We Do section of the Web site to learn more about the focus of our regional programs, the issues we work on, and our emergency relief work. If you still have questions about funding, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does Oxfam America provide financial aid for students?
Oxfam America is not able to provide financial aid to individuals, nor can we arrange, organize, or fund study-abroad programs. However, for answers to your financial aid questions, we recommend the following helpful Web sites:
What if I'm not from the US? Can I still join?
Absolutely. Anyone can participate in our online community and receive our monthly eNewsletter and occasional action alerts. While many of our email campaigns target US-based organizations and authorities, we also coordinate with groups all over the world.
How do I remove my name from the mailing list or update my address/bio information?
You can update your personal information at the eCommunity subscription management page. There you can also select not to receive email from us or you can send an email to email@example.com requesting removal. More ways to get help
What if I forgot/don't know my password?
You can set up or request a new password on our eCommunity page.
How can I help?
Oxfam is constantly in need of dedicated individuals to mobilize their communities in the fight against hunger, poverty, and social injustice. Here are just a few suggested ways to channel your energies to help:
- Learn more about what we do, the fundamental rights that Oxfam America defends, and which underlie the issues we work on.
- Address the root causes of poverty by taking action online.
- Help in our education and outreach efforts by hosting an Oxfam America Hunger Banquet® event.
- Become a monthly Pledge Partner.
- Link to our site: www.oxfamamerica.org.
Please visit the What You Can Do section of this Web site for more ideas, tools, and resources, and share what you learn with others.
Can you keep me up to date on the progress of Oxfam America's campaigns?
Yes! When you join our free email update list, you'll receive regular news on our work and campaigns, as well as opportunities to take action in the fight against poverty, hunger and social injustice.
How do I get to your offices?
Our headquarters office is in Boston, MA, and our policy & advocacy office is in Washington, DC. We've posted directions to our offices for your convenience.
I still have a question! Who can I contact?
Please visit our Contact Us page.